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Preventing risky teen sex: Father knows best

A friend of ours is fond of telling new dads, “Your most important job is to keep your daughter off the stripper pole.” Well, a new study kind of proves his point, if you’re willing to accept “stripper pole” as a sort of overarching metaphor for everything from early sexual activity to teen pregnancy to self-destructive tendencies in the sack. (Yes, we know not all strippers are young single mothers who’ve made bad choices, and some happily choose stripping as a lucrative career; but we’d bet that any father of a young girl would file random hook-ups, barebacking AND stripping in a category labeled “sex-related shit I hope to god my daughter never engages in.”) This is the stuff that makes fathers want to sit in a rocker on the front porch holding a shotgun. The study found that when it comes to preventing risky teen sex, teenagers whose fathers are more attentive and more involved in their lives are less likely to engage in risky activities like unprotected intercourse. Attentive moms help too, of course — but researchers found that dads have twice the influence.

It kind of reminds us of a scene in that atrocious movie GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST (yes, we admit it, we actually paid to see it — and this despite having seen a trailer first — but in our defense, it was a Four-Dollar-Tuesday special): Matthew McConaughey’s character explains to a gum-chewing, braces-clad ghost (like we said, it was Four-Dollar-Tuesday) how he manages to lure so many women into one-night stands: “It’s always about their dad.” Cut to a montage of M.M. seducing a string of ladies who all have less than functional relationships with their fathers. We guess that self-help book would be called He’s Just Not That Into You…And Neither Was Your Dad.

Oh, and ladies: It’s Father’s Day next week, so don’t forget to call yours and thank him for paying attention. Or, you know, schedule an extra appointment with your therapist.

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